Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Kickoff Rule: Week 1 Aftermath

So most people thought that the new Kickoff rule that required teams to kick off from the 35 yard-line would predominantly take away the kick return from the game. While touchback numbers are up, it sure seems to me that the kick return is still a major part of the game... a huge part of the game.

On Thursday night against the Saints, Packers rookie WR Randall Cobb took a Kickoff 108 yards to the house. On Sunday, Minnesota's Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff back 103 yards for a TD and San Francisco's Ted Ginn took a kick 102 yards for a TD. Three Kick Return TDs in Week 1 certainly suggests that the play is here to stay.

I'm not saying the Kickoff rule won't have any effect on kick returns throughout this year. However, let's let this thing play out for a while before ridiculing the NFL for amending the rule. I heard people complaining about the new rule as soon as it was announced publicly, and I said the same thing then. How can we complain about the NFL changing a rule that we hadn't even seen put into effect yet? Time will tell whether or not the rule has a lasting effect on kick returns, but three electric Week 1 TDs suggest that the kick return is here to stay.

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